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Determine the Length of Your Workouts

Evaluate Your Progress

Keep Warm-Up in Perspective


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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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saseme

I'm wondering with so many interpretations and applications of HIT, if, and what, are the fundamanetals that are agred upon within the 'community'?

Perhaps this thread can be a consensus by way of those aspects which are agreed on most by the majority of posters.

I'd like to compare where the general direction or location of thinking is from where Arthur Jones left off.

Appreciated.
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BF Bullpup

Massachusetts, USA

As far as I understand...

-Whole body workouts.

-Don't lift on consecutive days.

-One set to failure OR two reps short of failure.

-Workouts shouldn't take more than 40 minutes. Minimum of 6 exercises, maximum of 12.

-Prioritize bodyparts by training them earlier in your workout.

Feel free to correct me. It's not like I'm the expert here. :-P
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

There are many interpretations of HIT, and they vary significantly, but the few things they all have in common are:

A high intensity of effort.

Relatively brief workouts.

Relatively infrequent workouts.

Regardless of the specifics, as long as you're training hard, keeping your workouts brief, and allowing adequate time for recovery between workouts, you're doing much better than most of the people out there.
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mufasta

Ive always felt that for a vast majority of trainees (male and female alike) that the basic HIT program of 2-3 times per week, 6-12 exercises, one set to failure, and keeping the workout short is more than enough. This workout would probably cover 98% of the people out there no problem.

Its when you want to keep progressing that you start running into different ideas and paths.

Also most who try to go to that next level are not probably ready for it. I always loved when someone would say something like Im seeing good gains and progress, now what? .... the easy answer of keep going always was the hardest to get through.

But I completely agree with Drew, high intensity and brief, infrequent workouts are the cornerstone regardless of level.
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saseme

So, not much it seems. Just less and harder than other ways to train.
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AShortt

Ontario, CAN

Train hard - Train smart, don't waste time and effort.

Regards,
Andrew
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Ellington Darden

How about . . .

Train, Pain, Gain, Sustain.

Ellington
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saseme

AShortt wrote:
Train hard - Train smart, don't waste time and effort.

Regards,
Andrew


That's completely relative. Everyone thinks they're training smart and not wasting their time and effort.

You'll have to be more specific than that.
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saseme

Ellington Darden wrote:
How about . . .

Train, Pain, Gain, Sustain.

Ellington


Hey Dr. D. Nice maxim. except it applies to everyone.

I was looking more for a consensus on some fundamentals.

It seems to me we have what Arthur identified and that Dr. Darden continues to promote, and then many spinoffs that inordinately focus on one thing.

eg. Superslow = Focus on rep cadence(10/10).

Slowburn = Focus on load(lift as heavy as possible to control cadence).

Heavy Duty = Focus on extended infrequency of training(start once 4-7 days, some once 10-14 days or more).

Max Contraction = Focus on static contractions.

Eccentric Edge = Focus on negatives.

Jreps = Focus on partial reps.

It seems to me Arthur knew of all of these, used them all, but never as an end unto themselves.

Do any of these 'ways' have a common concrete characteristic?

Was Arthur wrong not to get all tied up in one or the other?
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JJ McClinton

These quotes were in relation to martial arts but the similarities between the fighting and bickering that goes on between clans of martial art styles is extremely similar to the bickering that goes on between HIT, SUPERSLOW, JREPS, WESTSIDE, EDT, etc.

"The other weakness is, when clans are formed, the people of a clan will hold their kind of martial art as the only truth and do not dare to reform or improve it. Thus they are confined in their own tiny little world. Their students become machines which imitate martial art forms."

Unfortunately, now in boxing people are only allowed to punch. In Judo, people are only allowed to throw. I do not despise these kinds of martial arts. What I mean is, we now find rigid forms which create differences among clans, and the world of martial art is shattered as a result."

"I think the high state of martial art, in application, must have no absolute form. And, to tackle pattern A with pattern B may not be absolutely correct."

-all quotes by BRUCE LEE

I acknowledge that all the techniques listed above are great techniques to use periodically when performed safely. Using only one exclusively is isolating yourself from other techniques that could be beneficial to your bodybuilding career. Sesame, you are asking some great questions. Dr.D, good quote.
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Tougher

Alberta, CAN

I think there's a lot of room to change up methods, rep schemes, cadences, etc., as long as, in the back of your mind, you keep what BF, Drew, the Dr., and Andrew said. In fact, I believe change is good as long as you keep the principles in mind.
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spud

Drew Baye wrote:
There are many interpretations of HIT, and they vary significantly, but the few things they all have in common are:

A high intensity of effort.

Relatively brief workouts.

Relatively infrequent workouts.


That's about it.

I think you'll struggle to find anything more.

Possibly:

All forms of strength training or bodybuilding focus on progressive overload (to varying degrees).

Everybody will tell you to use good form, although when you see many people using good form it still looks dangerous .
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Ellington Darden

As I've noted previously, Jones had at least a dozen strength-training guidelines that he discussed. But his number-1 requirement was INTENSITY. The intensity had to be high, all-out, and to momentary muscular failure.

Ellington
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Ellington Darden

Question for all you Arthur Jones fans:

Why did Jones in the early 1970s push INTENSITY so much in all his writings, lectures, and personal training sessions?

Ellington
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Cherry

Ellington Darden wrote:
Question for all you Arthur Jones fans:

Why did Jones in the early 1970s push INTENSITY so much in all his writings, lectures, and personal training sessions?

Ellington


This is an excellent question, and I hope you too will give us your insight into the answer.


Given my belief that Jones did not have any proof at the time that intensity is a prerequisite to rapid gains, he must have assumed it, a priori. It's observed in biology that, in general, a greater adaptation is associated with a greater stimulus (up to a point). To my jnowledge there is still no direct physiologic proof of efficacy of intensity to the point of failure, only vague empirical evidence. But the it just makes sense! ;)

Another very good reason for intensity to failure is standardization of the set for reliable measurement & recording purposes.

It's folly to believe that you can stop 1 or 2 reps shy of failure because you have no way of knowing just where your failure point will be in a set! But you can know reliably where failure is, so by continuing on to failure you eliminate another variable and source of error.

The beauty is in the simplifying asumptions made by AJ to gain leverage on the problem and rapid knowledge.

Please give us your insight eventually!
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Growl

Ellington Darden wrote:
Question for all you Arthur Jones fans:

Why did Jones in the early 1970s push INTENSITY so much in all his writings, lectures, and personal training sessions?

Ellington


It's the intensity that sets us apart. If the intensity is high, volume and frequency will ultimately fall. Even if a frequent and/or high volume form of training is tried, if the intensity is high, it cannot be maintained.

I remember reading in Arnold's (useless) Encyclopedia that he trains to failure. Well, I tried his 6 day a week, high volume routine(a couple decades ago) and kept re-reading it and trying to figure out if he really meant "to failure" because I knew what it meant to train to failure. He couldn't have meant it. Ultimately, it would kill someone.

Reading about how Arnold actually avoided training to failure in your last book, Dr. Darden brought a smile to my face.
Jeff
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ryansergent

Kansas, USA

"It's folly to believe that you can stop 1 or 2 reps shy of failure because you have no way of knowing just where your failure point will be in a set! But you can know reliably where failure is, so by continuing on to failure you eliminate another variable and source of error."

Cherry, You still don't know when you're going to fail in a set? All those log book entries, clock watching and precise measurments and you can't tell within two reps if your about to fail? Poppycock

Ryan
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HamsFitness

Ellington Darden wrote:
Question for all you Arthur Jones fans:

Why did Jones in the early 1970s push INTENSITY so much in all his writings, lectures, and personal training sessions?

Ellington


muscles atrophy under non use so i guess it makes to assume they would do the opposite under opposite conditions.

Also it sorted men from boys.

Quite possibly, purely becuase it was the opposite of what everyone else told him to do/was doing at the time and it worked for him.
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Cherry

ryansergent wrote:
"It's folly to believe that you can stop 1 or 2 reps shy of failure because you have no way of knowing just where your failure point will be in a set! But you can know reliably where failure is, so by continuing on to failure you eliminate another variable and source of error."

Cherry, You still don't know when you're going to fail in a set? All those log book entries, clock watching and precise measurments and you can't tell within two reps if your about to fail? Poppycock

Ryan



ryan,

You miss the point.. now we don't have to rely on the accuracy of your subjective notions or feelings about where failure is and the set will end. Maybe you can tell and maybe you can't tell. Who knows for sure? Difficult enough finding true failure itself. Know you want to guess at 2 or 3 reps short.. introduces nothing more but more potential for wrror into the whole equation.

The beauty in intensity to failure is in its reliability and accuracy.
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saseme

Ellington Darden wrote:
As I've noted previously, Jones had at least a dozen strength-training guidelines that he discussed. But his number-1 requirement was INTENSITY. The intensity had to be high, all-out, and to momentary muscular failure.

Ellington


Dr. Are these guidelines in a posting here, or from one of the bulletins? I'd really like to get them down in front of me to compare them to what's posted here. Sort of a BS indicator. I mean, your 'way' can have any specific form you wish it to have, but I think if it doesn't comply with Arthur's principles, there's something wrong.
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Crotalus

I think Jones stressed 'intensity' because if high enough - 'to failure' - then the volume and frequency took care of itself ; it had to be brief and infrequent for recovery which he believed to be overlooked most at the time. Jones considered recovery the second most important thing next to exercise itself.

----

I remember Darden's statements in a couple of his books saying it was rare to see someone training 'too brief and too hard' but common to see many training 'too much and not hard enough'.

Well I'm one that eventually hit the 'Too Hard' wall over the years. When your intensity is to the point where you can only get through one set of three exercises twice a week - and get nothing out of it other than a cold sweat and the shakes - you've reached 'too hard'.

Of course that's just my opinion from personal experiance ...
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spud

Crotalus,

How could you be working so hard that you could only do 1 set of 3 exercises?

Now I'm not attacking you or denying that you know how to work hard. By the sounds of things, you know how to push yourself. Even when you back off a bit, you'll still be working harder than the majority of people who are a long way off from anything approaching outright hard work.

I have had workouts where I have felt completely done in after the second or third set, so I know where you are coming from.

All I have done is to simply take a longer rest period to get myself together again so that I could do some more.

You may be thinking "What??!! That's not HIT! When someone goes easy so they can do more, that's when you start to move towards volume training!"

Don't get me wrong. I'm talking about having a breather so that I can make it past the third exercise and get through to the 8th or perhaps 9th exercise. I wasn't turning my workout into a marathon.

Could you have taken longer rest periods?

Or was it that you were lifting super heavy poundages and found it too draining?

Were you doing static holds or 'continued effort' once the resistance had stopped moving?

I'm merely curious.
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Crotalus

Spud ;

No problem in asking or 'attacking' me , LOL. I'm glad to discuss it. I'll try and be breif, but we'll see about that. To start with I think a big problem with me in everything I've done is getting stuck on a couple individuals instructions or philosophy and tuning out everything else , whether it was my involvement in strength training, music, photography or the trades I learned.

With strength training Darden and Leistner were my gurus. Dr.Dardens 'High Intensity Bodybuilding' was the first step towards the right way to train for me. I understood the principles right away and to the point that I thought the 20 set, full body, 3X week-to-failure routine was just way too much for the intensity he preached, so I modified it to around 14-15 sets. I also realized right away that 20 rep squats three days a week was pure insanity.

Darden's fantastic writing style and descriptions of various workouts like the one opening the book of Tom Platz doing negative only Presses Behind the Neck just burned images in my head of what my workouts should be like. As I trained in the following years I read as much as I could regarding HIT training ... all of Darden's books and finally discovered Dr.Leistner's stuff when he had stuff in the old Iron Man followed by his 'Steele Tip' newsletters.

His routines were briefer than Darden's and rarely contained isolation movements, revolving around compound exercises. He often mentioned that he thought 'muscle isolation' was not possible and the single joint movements should be saved for pre-exhaust only and that Pre-exhaust should only be used when the weights become dangerously heavy. I once asked him at a seminar what that meant and he said when I'm squatting over 500 pounds (!!) then I should consider doing leg extentions first, LOL.

Anyway, Dr. Ken also provided blow-by-blow descriptions of brutal workouts which were big motivators as were Darden's. As I progressed in strength and learning how to beat the fuck out of myself, I had to use less and less volume; working out only twice a week and sets eventually going from 12 to 10 to 8 to 7 to 6 ...and less over the years ... while my intensity was always way up. I was always watching the clock for better time / shorter rests and all the time in my demented mind I had Jones, Darden and Leistner watching me, shaking theirs heads in disgust saying to each other, " ... Mary here just doesn't know what hard training is ..." LOL

This simply kept going until I was at four exercise and then finally three ; barbell squats, N/O dips and N/O chins done I think three times in two weeks. And like I said, I got nothing from it at this point. And at the time instead of thinking something was wrong with my training and had to be correced, I just figured I reached my genetic potential and that was that. It was when I believed this was the case and backed off just to maintain what I achieved by training less intensly, that I started responding again ... in a big way.

Though I never got injured training at that super high intensity level, talking training with Roger Swab one afternoon while I was approaching this point he told me that he did get injured a few times when he got to this same extreme intensity/low volume point and how he wished he turned around before. He gave me the advice years before I got to that point, but I didn't take it.

You are absolutely right ; I could have / should have realized I needed more rest between exercises, to back off of the insane intensity, etc. which is what my instincts told me to do, but at that time 'real' HIT training just didn't include 'backing off'.

Sorry for the long winded explaination ... hope I answered what you were asking :>)

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gdm

Crotalus, what is your current routine?
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Crotalus

gdm;

I'm hooked on JREPS :>) I started using them back in April and have loved the workouts.

The big difference in the way I was training until then was I was finally able to shake the adverse - and wrong -outlook I developed about isolation movements from following only one HIT camp's outlook on what hard training is or should be. For the longest time I got caught up in that famous line about;

" When you can squat 400 X 20, press 1 1/2 times your bodyweight for 12, curl the same etc etc , blah blah blah, you'll be as big as ... "

Now I'm using pre-exhaust with the isolation exercises done in thirds and the compounds done in halves. I'm loving it.

I'm one of those guys who when has a routine/exercises he really likes, doesn't change them very often. I know that isn't good either so I'm about to finally change my routines to some different movements. See, you can teach an old dog new tricks :>)

I just ordered the JREPS 2 book and DVD so really looking forward to actually seeing it done and maybe get some freshi ideas.

Anyway, my current routine is :

MONDAY :

Machine Flyes ; thirds
Dips : halves

Machine Lateral Raise ; thirds
Machine Press ; halves

Machine Tricep Extention ; thirds
Close Grip push ups ; halves

Machine Crunch ; halves

Time ia about 22 minutes , there is a 45 seconds break between each iso and compound movement.

-------

WEDNESDAY :

sissy squats ; full reps
Leg Press ; halves
SLD ; full Reps
Roman Chair squats ; thirds

Machine Donkey calves ; halves. First set start halves at the top, next set the reverse.

Hanging Knee ups ; halves

-----------

FRIDAY

Shrug ; full reps
Upright Row ; thirds

Machine Pullover ; thirds
Machine Row ; halves

Body drag curl ; halves . First set start with the bottom half and the second set reverse it.

Rotart Torso ; halves

These machines are either Hammer or Cybex ; these are the two my gym is equiped with. It's not that prefer machines and dislike barbells but the machines just make it so much more efficient to get into the next movement with out wasting time.

All these are one set each except for curls and calf raises and these workout take between 22 to 26 minutes, depending on how hard a time I have climbing the stairs to the second floor where the ab machines are , LOL.


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